Why you should visit Corvin Castle, the medieval castle of Transylvania

4 day car trip around Romania hunedoara Corvin Castle

In the southwest Transylvania, one representative castle of the Middle Age stands. The Hunedoara Fortress, which became the Corvin Castle, is one of the most attractive places to visit today in Transylvania. It was recognised as being one of the biggest and most impressive buildings in Eastern Europe.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

After years of longing to visit this breathtaking place, there I was, rushing through it. Because I got there 1h before closing. But managing time is one of my assets when travelling, unlike my other time, when I have no clue when it flies. Oops.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

 

Hunedoara Castle or Corvin Castle?

For me, even the name is hard to get. It’s this magical place, in my own country, but still, it feels foreign. Here’s why.

Corvin Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara, Romania, being one of the largest castles in Europe.

Corvin Castle is also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle (in Romanian: Castelul Huniazilor or Castelul Corvinilor; in Hungarian: Vajdahunyadi vár).

medieval castle Corvin Castel

The history behind Corvin Castle

Why am I confused by the name? Because the castle was owned in turns by different rulers, hence the name.

The list of Owners
John Hunyadi (1419–56)
Matthias Corvinus (1457–82)
Gabriel Bethlen (1605, 1613–29)

medieval castle Corvin Castel

The construction began in 1446, ordered by John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János, Romanian: Iancu or Ioan de Hunedoara).

That was the same year he was elected as the regent-governor of the Kingdom of Hungary. Yes, Transylvania was part of the Hungarian Kingdom. Cultural influences are very visible till this day.

The castle is a large and imposing structure with tall towers, bastions, an inner courtyard and balconies adorned with stone carvings.

The castle also features a double wall for enhanced fortification and has both rectangular and circular towers. I found it really impressive and better than any picture I could ever paint in my mind about medieval castles.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

The castle has some memorable areas:

  • the Knight’s Hall – used for feasts
  • the Diet Hall – used for ceremonies or formal receptions.
  • the circular stairway
  • multiple towers – the Capistrano Tower, the Club Tower, the Deserted Tower and the Drummers’ Tower, The Buzdugan Tower

medieval castle Corvin Castel

Some of the towers (the Capistrano Tower, the Deserted Tower and the Drummers’ Tower) were used as prisons.

The Buzdugan Tower was solely built for defensive purposes and it had its exterior decorated with geometric motifs.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

When John Hunyadi died in 1456, the castle’s construction stopped. Only in the 17th-century new addition were made. The castle we see today is a restoration of what modern architects see a Gothic castle.

Corvin Castle was featured in both video games, movies and tv shows. Apparently Age of Empires II HD The Forgotten features it as the wonder of the Magyar civilization.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

medieval castle Corvin Castel

medieval castle Corvin Castel

medieval castle Corvin Castel

How to get to the Corvin Castle

The infrastructure is not great, and I  admit I was there by car, as part of my 4-day car trip around Romania. It was the next stop after visiting Brâncuși’s sculptures in Tg Jiu.

The castle is right in the city of Hunedoara, about 1,5 km from the train station. There is also a bus station, connecting the city to Deva, Timişoara and Bucharest. Trains connections are to Braşov, Sibiu or Arad.

 

medieval castle Corvin Castel

 

The Takeaway?

Yeah, you have to visit Corvin Castle!!! Amazing place, it seems like a movie set, except it’s not. Real people lived there and those torture objects are real.

Please check the opening hours and get there early, to have enough time to explore it all, it’s quite big and I suggest spending there around 3 hours.

The view of the castle it’s something you’ll want to take a picture of. Wait long enough, and you will see the castle lighted after sunset.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

It’s like stepping into a tale of princes and princesses, where there are many towers and secret doors to be discovered. Yes, you can rent an audio guide, but I like it more when I can do my own exploration.

There is one thing I wish to you once you get there: ENJOY!

medieval castle Corvin Castel

 

If you want to share your thoughts, it would mean the world to me!